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BULGARIA


Location - Caucasus, Europe; Capital - Baku; Population - 10 million; Currency - Manat MORE AZERBAIJAN

Lufthansa, of all airlines, fly between Ashgabat and Baku. It's a quick 1.5hr flight over the Caspian Sea to the capital of Azerbaijan - October 2018.

So is Azerbaijan in Asia or Europe? It seems to depend on what you read, though I think the strict definition is it's European. For me it feels like Asia, though being right next door to Armenia and Georgia it must be Europe?! Mmm..

 

bulgarianoteThe 10 Manat note has an outline of the Old City

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I headed straight for the seafront, where the Flame Towers dominate the skyline - Baku

 

There's a free funicular (the arched covered section) taking pasengers up to the Flame Towers but it wasn't working when I was there, so the stairs it is - Baku

 

The three towers dwarf the Martyrs' Mosque below - Baku

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baku is a city flaunting its oil wealth, none more so than these glass skyscrapers, completed in 2012 - Baku

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take in a panoramic view of Baku and the Caspian Sea. On the right is the Caspian Waterfront Mall. featuring what looks to me like a the hatching of an alien egg - Baku

 

A line of what I presume to be former soldiers pay their respects at the Baku Turkish Martyrs' Memorial, dedicated to those killed in Azerbaijan during WWI - Baku

 

Behind the memorial's eternal flame is Baku TV Tower - Baku

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Linking the memorial to the Flame Towers is Martyrs' Alley, a line of graves of those killed in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and also by the Soviet army during Black January - Baku

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Alley of Honour, or Fexri Xibayan in Azerbaijani, contains the graves of many of the country's public figures - Baku

 

Former president Heydar Aliyev is the main draw to the cemetery, just uphill from the Flame Towers - Baku

 

A huge statue of Soviet politican and writer Nariman Narimanov stands in a roundabout on the way back downhill to the old town - Baku

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I read about the eccentric Tazebey Hamam, a traditional bathhouse - Baku

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I didn't take a bath but admired the wonderfully kitsch atmosphere, like being transported to a surreal Hollywood film set - see the Stalin picture among the lamps, signs and statues - Baku

 

Take a walk along the Bulvar, the long seafront promenade on the Caspian - Baku

 

.. and meet locals on the way - Baku

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A clever design for the Carpet Museum, which houses an extensive collection of Azerbaijani carpets and rugs - Baku

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A welcoming Salam Baku, or Hello Baku, on the Bulvar - Baku

 

Take a gondola on what's optimistically called mini-Venice - Baku

 

Nizami Kuc is the main pedestrian shopping street, full of cafes, restaurants, boutique and souvenir shops - Baku

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A shopping arcade on Nizami Kuc - Baku

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just off Nizami Kuc, Fountains Square forms the heart of the city - Baku

 

A mid-riffed woman in tight jeans holds an umbrella and mobile phone, an interesting presentation of young women in a Muslim country - Baku

 

Love the plant pots! - Baku

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just can't think what restaurant this reminds me of.. - Baku

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When darkness falls the Flame Towers really come into their own - Baku

 

Living up to their name the flames burn on the skyscrapers, reflecting Azerbaijan's tourist motto as the Land of Fire - Baku

 

Be wary of the price of a pot of tea at the Fountains Square cafes. They're nice places but you'll pay for the setting! - Baku

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Behind the Bulvar is the Old Town, known as Ichari Shahar - Baku

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Climb the 12th century Maiden Tower for decent views of Baku, though they're obstructed by dirty perspex windows

 

The Old Town has many souvenir shops as well as hotels and cafes - Baku

 

A quieter Old Town residential backstreet - Baku

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The other notable historic monument is the Palace of the Shirvanshahs - Baku

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A lion engraved into a restaurant wall, apparently a symbol of the Old Town - Baku

 

Is this a Lada, the famous Soviet relic? - Baku

 

The magnificent Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre definitely feels 21st century - Baku

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I visited there were several art exhibitions and a potted history of Azerbaijan - Baku

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Naturally the interior reflects the curves and contours of the exterior - Baku

 

A clever sculpture comprised of letters - Baku

 

Another statue of former president Heydar Aliyev stands in a square near the train station. His son Ilham Aliyev took office in 2003 shortly before his father died - Baku

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A glorious mosque, especially at night, is the newly built Heydar Mosque on the northern outskirts of Baku

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Website and content Copyright © 2008-2019 Mark Wilkinson. All rights reserved.

 

LINKS

www.advantour.com - Central Asian tour operator but website has a wealth of information

http://azerbaijan.travel - Azerbaijan tourism

https://caravanistan.com - Main resource for all things Central Asian - extremely useful

https://ticket.ady.az - Azerbaijan Railways

 

I am not responsible for the content of external websites.

 

 
 
 
   
 
   
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